Sunday, 22 July 2012
Local organic salad and chicken on a sunny day
I used to visit Roots at Rushwick, a farm shop that sells its own organic fruit, vegetables, eggs, chickens and beef, whenever I visited my accountant. That was back in the days when I ran a management consultancy - before the gluten destroyed my health and I had to stop work. It's now the closest farm shop to the new flat, so I thought I should start doing my basic grocery shopping there if possible.
This morning I came back with two gorgeous deep red trailing geraniums (pelargoniums to you plant name obsessives), a large chicken, some stewing steak, lettuces picked this morning, strawberries, courgette (zucchini), broad beans and tomatoes. A lot of the vegetable crop in the UK has been damaged by the extremely wet weather, so local or even UK produce is harder to find than usual. I also bought cream and milk and a meringue base made by Mary, at Bishops Frome. Cherries, (£8 a kilo, most of the cherry crop locally was ruined by the rain) and a giant cauliflower completed the haul.
As our stove is out of order I steamed a chicken breast in the microwave with a little thyme, sage and lime juice, in my excellent orka multi- level steam cooker - replacement for the stove top double boiler/steamer I had used probably several times a day for twenty five years, but which was given away we we switched to an induction hob. This is a four part plastic/silicone set that can be used in the microwave or the steamer sections used with a normal pan.
After rinsing the lettuce and steaming the broad beans I served these with sliced tomato and courgette, drizzled with a little olive oil and lime and sprinkled with parsley and thyme. The herbs are from my pots on the balcony. It is very handy having a ready supply of fresh herbs, but the mint has got mildew with the very damp weather..or else it just doesn't like living on a balcony,
The juice is the pear and apple juice we had made from our fruit trees before we moved last autumn. We got Clive's fruit farm to juice and bottle this for us.
The odd plates that show up in my blogs occasionally are from a set of six by Will Alsop RA, made as a limited edition of 100 for the Royal Academy of Arts. We used to have six..but I broke one when I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle.